Puxatawney Phil says "Spring is coming." How do New Englanders feel about Punxsutawney Phil's prediction?

While Punxsutawney Phil is more of a fun annual North American tradition than an actual reliable forecaster, I don't think anyone will deny it has been a mild winter in New England thus far; so the groundhog's prediction for an early spring is not surprising to me. The "winter weather oracle" did not see his shadow during the 134th annual Groundhog Day festivities in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania on Sunday, according to Getty News. As the Groundhog Day legend goes, it means spring will arrive early.

If the cute little rodent is right about an early spring, what does that mean for New England? I say "more time enjoying the great outdoors," but I'm not a farmer with outdoor animals that may be overrun with unwelcome visitors. However, I do suffer from seasonal allergies. Increased levels of pollen are one of the hazards of an early spring, according to USA Today.

The other major problems of a short winter are disease-carrying insects such as ticks, fleas and mosquitoes, as per USA Today. That's bad news for wildlife and for our pets.

There's no need to worry about allergies or bugs, just yet. It is still winter until March 19th… unless Punxsutawney Phil really does know something that schooled meteorologists don't. By the way, Phil's predictions have only been correct 40 percent of the time since 2010, according to the NCEI via Newsweek.

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